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Are You A Vampire Adviser?

Summertime Selling Skills

Here we are on week three of my Summertime Selling Skills series, where I discuss the top 10 mistakes advisers make at the first meeting. We’ve talked about talking, and stepping away from the fact finder…today I’m asking, are you a vampire?

First Meeting Mistake 3: Going For The Jugular

Another of the biggest mistakes advisers make in first meetings with new clients is what I’ll call “going for the jugular”. Advisers ask one or two questions (recognising that questions play a key role in the first meeting) but as soon as they get an answer that uncovers an issue, they dive straight in and try to solve it with a product solution, or they talk incessantly trying to demonstrate their knowledge. This kills the meeting.

If they could just hold fire, make a note of the issue for later in the conversation and keep going with the questioning they would open up far more issues, and would appear more client focused. Going for the jugular turns advisers into sales people.

I am sure this is the result of the direct sales training most people received when they entered the industry. The old model was a four step process: ask questions, identify an issue, ‘disturb’ the client, and solve the issue with a product solution. Many advisers never even received this level of training, they simply joined a firm, watched what others were doing and copied them until they found something that sort of worked for themselves.

I don’t believe advisers always go for the jugular deliberately. Some do it because they believe it is better to make any form of sale now then come back for the rest of the business once the client is a client. Others do it simply because it keeps them in their comfort zone. Talking about technical stuff they know lots about is a safe place for them in the meeting and the desire to stay comfortable sees them doing too much telling. Both are huge mistakes in my opinion

A Handy Tip

Write “shut up” on a small card and carry it with you into first meetings. Tuck it inside your notepad, iPad or anything else you take into the meeting with you so you can refer to it discreetly throughout.

When you are tempted to ‘go for the jugular,’ look at the card, take a breath, and ask another question…then let the client do all the work.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on first meetings. What are your issues? How have you resolved any challenges? Leave a comment in the comments section on my blog or drop an email to

Take Action

If you’d like to work with me directly on addressing your first meeting skills for you or your team drop me a line at or give me a call on 0207 431 3663.


My latest webinar ‘Fact Finding And Presenting Advice’ tackling the two forgotten steps in the advice process can be heard here.

In my upcoming Webinar ‘Onboarding Clients Effectively’ on Monday 2nd September 2013 at 12pm, I’ll be talking about how the best firms ‘onboard’ their clients and sharing some simple strategies. You can preregister to attend here and I look forward to seeing you there!


If you would like to subscribe to my blog and receive insights and tips in your inbox each week go to or send me an email here!

By Brett Davidson

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